Will the iPhone 4S give the name Siri a boost?

Time for another baby name prediction!

Apple introduced the iPhone 4S earlier this month, and the first shipments should be arriving any day now.

The phone’s Siri voice recognition/dictation software has got people talking — literally. Because Siri allows you to have a verbal conversation with your iPhone. So far the software has received positive reviews, like this one from Engadget:

The most impressive part was the demo of Siri, the new assistant that lets you do just about anything you can do on your phone — but with your voice. We tried to psych it out with a bunch of random requests, including the history of Chester, Vermont (a lovely town) and the best Ramen places in San Francisco. Siri never faltered, never missed a beat.

Siri was developed by a company called, logically, Siri. The company was a spin-off of SRI International, so I initially guessed that “Siri” might be based upon the acronym SRI (“Stanford Research Institute”). I was wrong, though — it came from Siri’s Norwegian-American co-founder Dag Kittlaus, who explained:

I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available. And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, is easy to say…

(The Norwegian name Siri is a short form of Sigrid, which can be traced back to Old Norse elements meaning “victory” and “beautiful.”)

When Dag didn’t end up using the name for a baby — his first child was a boy, named Markus — he decided to use it for a company instead.

Apple acquired Siri in April of 2010, and the rest is history.

The fact that a highly coveted Apple product now features software named “Siri” could be a game-changer for the baby name Siri, which was already on the upswing:

  • 2010: 111 baby girls named Siri [ranked 1,831st]
  • 2009: 120 baby girls named Siri
  • 2008: 115 baby girls named Siri
  • 2007: 108 baby girls named Siri
  • 2006: 105 baby girls named Siri
  • 2005: 72 baby girls named Siri
  • 2004: 55 baby girls named Siri
  • 2003: 44 baby girls named Siri
  • 2002: 36 baby girls named Siri
  • 2001: 29 baby girls named Siri

Do you think the iPhone will give the name Siri a boost? Perhaps nudge it into the top 1,000? (The cut-off in 2010 was 249 baby girls.)

Why or why not?

Update, 10/2020: Looks like the iPhone definitely influenced the baby name Siri — but not in a positive direction! Here are the latest numbers for Siri…

  • 2019: 13 baby girls names Siri
  • 2018: 20 baby girls names Siri
  • 2017: 20 baby girls names Siri
  • 2016: 24 baby girls names Siri
  • 2015: 25 baby girls names Siri
  • 2014: 39 baby girls names Siri
  • 2013: 42 baby girls names Siri
  • 2012: 108 baby girls names Siri
  • 2011: 103 baby girls names Siri

Turns out 2009 was Siri’s best year in terms of usage and ranking (1,806th).

Sources: Steve Jobs wasn’t a fan of the Siri name, Meet Dag Kittlaus, the guy who made Siri and became a millionaire following a personal phone call from Steve Jobs, Siri – Behind the Name

12 thoughts on “Will the iPhone 4S give the name Siri a boost?

  1. I know a 3 year old boy named Siri. He was named after his Grandmother Iris…. spelled backwards.

  2. I would guess a small boost, but not enough to get into the top 1,000.

    I know 2 Siris. Both girls. One is someone I went to college with; the other is the daughter of someone I went to college with. Both have northern European heritages.

  3. Okay, initially I thought “no way.” But after having listened to Siri pull up the weather and directions all morning, well … I kind of feel like she is a member of the family. I could see her catching on.

  4. I know of at least one child named after the writer Siri Hustvedt. But then, I used to live in Hustvedt’s hometown and Scandinavian names are pretty common there.

  5. My guess is probably, and that completely bums me out because it’s my number one baby girl name and I have no desire to see it rise in popularity! Also disappointing because it may lead some people to think that’s where we “got it from”. Our version is a nickname of Sigrid, a Scandinavian name that means beautiful victory.

  6. Our daughter is one of those from 2006. I’m a little bummed and hoping it doesn’t become a teasing factor in the elementary years. Although I like it since I may not have to spell out her name EVERY time she is introduced!!

  7. I hope not! I love everything about my daughter’s name and, as silly as it may be, I am so sad that it’s being used for this. I wish Apple had gotten creative and renamed the software, something in the Google/Yahoo/Bing vein, rather than tainting this beautiful name.

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